Europe - Norway

Library of Humanities and Social Sciences,
University Library, University of Oslo -- Phase 1 --


Library Home Page: University of Oslo Library
Humanities and Social Sciences Library: Home


P.O. Box 1009 Blindern, N-0315 Oslo, Norway


Naomi Yabe Magnussen
Principal excutive officer / Librarian
Tel: + 47 (0)22 84 42 45

Size of collection

Printed books: 70+ titles
Manuscripts: 2-3 titles
Single-sheet items: unknown

Collection description

The Library of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Oslo Library holds more than 70 Edo and Meiji Period titles. They cover a variety of subjects from historical writings to religious texts and works of a practical nature, many of them being illustrated. The provenance of the collection is unclear as there are no written records. They may have been brought back, along with Chinese antiquarian material, by Norwegian missionaries who lived in the Far East during the Meiji Period.
In addition to the collection in the Library of Humanities and Social Sciences, there are also a few printed books Ethnographic Library, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo which were donated by Halvor Halvorsen (known in Japan as Oliver Smith) who lived in Kobe during the Meiji Period and worked as a pilot in Japanese coastal waters.

Access to bibliographic data

Online catalogues

  • Some of the antiquarian materials are included in Prof Kornicki's Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books in Europe. 25 items are listed for Norway, all of them held by Oslo University.
  • For material purchased before 1966 there is the digitsed version of the Catalogue of Foreign Literature in Norway which includes some cards for Japanese antiquarian books. It is searchable but the website is only in Norwegian.
Digitised materials

How can researchers gain access to the material?

Application must be made in advance to the Librarian giving details of the reason for consulting the material and the date of visit.

Select bibliography of publications about the collections (books, articles)

Is reproduction of the material permitted ?

The Library can provide photographs and digital images. There is a charge for this service.